BOSTON (CBS) — Chaim Bloom hasn’t done much this offseason. But his most recent trade is turning some heads.

And it’s not because of whom the Red Sox’ Chief Baseball Officer acquired, but over which team he chose as a trading partner. That team would be Boston’s fiercest rival, the New York Yankees.

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Dealing with the Yankees is not something that many of Bloom’s predecessors have engaged in, as it usually only happens once every few decades. But Bloom had no problem swinging a trade with Boston’s biggest nemesis, and in many ways, he gave the Yankees an assist with Monday’s acquisition of reliever Adam Ottavino.

The Yankees were looking to dump the righty’s $8 million salary for the 2021 season, and Bloom is hoping that works to Boston’s advantage. In addition to sending a potential setup man to the Boston bullpen, the Yankees threw in pitching prospect Frank German as well. That’s how much the Yankees were willing to move on from Ottavino.

Again, Bloom is hoping that New York’s salary dump leads to a much stronger bullpen for Boston in 2021. Ottavino, a Northeastern alum whom the Red Sox were interested in back in 2017 before he signed a three-year pact with New York, could become a quality setup man for whoever closes games for Boston. He may even see some save opportunities himself.

Ottavino had a down 2020 season after a solid first year with the Yankees, and Bloom is counting on a bounce-back campaign from the righty in 2021.

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“This was a move where we felt we were able to address a number of different objectives,” Bloom said of the deal. “We acquired Adam Ottavino, who is a veteran reliever who has had a lot of success, success in our division. He has swing-and-miss stuff that plays against everyone, and especially right-handed hitters. There’s a lot of right-handed hitters in our division and more that seem to keep joining it.

“We were really just looking at how it fit our objectives,” he added. “I think that’s important, even if it is the Yankees. It’s very hard to be great if you’re too busy worrying about everybody else. We have to worry about ourselves.”

Monday marked the first time the two rivals have made a deal since 2014, the famous Stephen Drew-Kelly Johnson swap. Before that, the Sox and the Yanks hadn’t swung a trade since 1997’s deal that sent Mike Stanley to the Bronx for Tony Armas Jr.

Maybe dealing with the Yankees doesn’t feel right to fans, but if he feels it will make his team better, Bloom is willing to chat with anyone.

“I know it’s the Yankees and I understand what that means. It’s the most storied rivalry in sports. It’s part of what makes the history of this organization so great, is getting to lock horns with those guys on a regular basis. But if we’re not willing to do something that helps us because it helps them, or worse, if we’re worried it might not go as we expect and it blows up in our face and we look bad, then we’re just playing scared,” said Bloom.

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“And we’re not going to play scared,” Bloom added.

CBSBoston.com Staff